Vermont Cheddar Bisque

  • Yield 5 servings
  • Prep 5 mins
  • Cook 28 mins

Use the sharpest cheddar you can find in this zesty soup.


No one has ever asked me, but I've thought about what I'd like to eat for my last meal. I'm pretty sure it would be Welsh rarebit on toast points. This soup is just a step or two removed from that dish. The flavor is virtually the same; it's just thinner, though still quite full-bodied, Ken Haedrich says.


1 1/2 cups peeled potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Combine potatoes and broth in a large stockpot. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir into potato mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened.
  3. Add milk and cook, stirring, about 8 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in mustard and about half the cheese. Stir until melted. Add remaining cheese. Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Ken Haedrich’s Soup Makes the Meal (Harvard Common Press, 2001). 



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